2019 Bike Taiwan kicks off today with a series of month-long activities lasting until September 29. The activities are designed for cyclists of all ages, including pushbikes for children, interesting challenge games, cycling, and road running challenge, as well as using an app to "outline the cycling map of Taichung" and interactive exhibition booths. The activities are designed to transform Taichung into the most cycling-friendly city.
Taichung City Tourism and Travel Bureau held the kick-off press conference today at the city hall today (28th), where Director-General Lin and other guests operated the hand air pump props as a symbol for the flourishing developing in the sport of cycling in Taichung and marking the official kick-off of the month-long 2019 Bike Taiwan.
According to Director-General Lin, Bike Taiwan is considered as one of the most preeminent annual cycling tourism events in Taiwan. According to the latest statistics, the number of Taichung City's bike paths has reached 83, totaling 651.04km. Together with pleasant climate and significantly improved air pollution, Taichung has become the most cycling-friendly city in Taiwan.
Director-General Lin explained that the city hall has elaborately designed a series of riding experiences for people of all ages to participate in. In particular, the "outline the cycling map of Taichung" event combines a smartphone GPS app to let the public express their creativity by showing their riding journey throughout Taichung. An online poll will also be conducted, so everyone is welcome to explore the alleyways of Taichung to depict unique words or motifs using the app.
Director-General Lin elaborated that in supporting Mayor Shiow-yen Lu's Transport i-Doors policy, the bike paths will be optimized by creating bicycle depots that can offer services such as parking, recreation, and supplies. In order to promote a more convenient low carbon transport environment, Taichung City Tourism and Travel Bureau is implementing a new wave of bike path upgrade projects; in 2019, 5 existing rest stops including Tanya Green Tunnel, Dongfeng Bike Path, and Houfeng Bike Path will be upgraded to starred bike depots.
Director-General Lin emphasized that the events must be able to channel benefits to the local industry; in an effort to promote Taichung's exclusive cycling experience, the Riding in Taichung travel package has been unveiled for 2019 Bike Taiwan by combining cycling and sightseeing itinerary. Besides promoting cycling tourism, the aim is to integrate food services, hospitality, travel, shopping, and entertainment industries along the bike paths into the package.
Furthermore, travel agents will be bringing a group of 100 tourists for the inaugural event, hoping to entice more travel agents to commercialize cycling tours in Taichung, so that more domestic and overseas travelers will be able to appreciate the enjoyment of touring Taichung using a different mode of transport. By hosting Bike Taiwan, the ultimate objective is to continue launching innovative services and make Taichung the premier destination among tourist cyclists.
During the press conference today, Japanese online sensation ojisan222 (Yasuo Shitazaka) – a Taichung bike path aficionado – also commented that he is extremely interested in every activity of this year's Bike Taiwan, so perhaps people might be able to see him during these activities.
Tourism and Travel Bureau indicated that Mayor Lu perceives tremendous importance in cycling tourism; when the first phase (south section) of the Taichung Overpass was opened last month, she stated that existing railway spaces will be turned into green cycling corridors, starting from Fengyuan Station in the north to Daqing Station in the south, the 21km bike path is slated for completion in mid-2020, creating a new recreational venue for Taichung citizens. For more information on 2019 Bike Taiwan, please visit Tourism Taichung website (https://travel.taichung.gov.tw/) or Taichung Travel Facebook fan page (https://www.facebook.com/taichungresort/).